The Immaculate Conception
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Bartolomé Esteban Murillo
Spanish, Seville, 1675 - 1680
Pen and brown ink over black chalk
7 3/4 x 5 3/16 in.

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Bartolomé Esteban Murillo pictured the Virgin Mary standing in the heavens upon a crescent moon, with her hands folded and loose squiggles of hair and cloak billowing to the left. To create the image, he first drew in black chalk, then rapidly drew the principal contours in pen and ink. Barely discernible are the faint chalk indications of the cloud studded with putti heads on which the Virgin stands, which Murillo did not reinforce, suggesting that he abandoned the sketch before completion.

Murillo's native city of Seville was devoted to the cult of the Immaculate Conception, so he painted and drew the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception many times.